Randomly Related Slightly Salient Stuff 17

You know the drill by now.  This is where I tell you that there’s no new episode yet because of everything else going on.  [We have a girl! 7lbs 11.6oz!]

Here and there, I have been chipping away at an episode recorded before Wonder Woman.  The original theme was “decision making” on who Clark consults in Man of Steel (and who he doesn’t) and BvS… then loosely tied that to the lack of communication in the Trinity fight.  I made the decision to split out the Doomsday fight and both parts became thematically stronger.  One episode on seeking counsel and a Doomsday fight analysis.  The latter made more martial, I started to weave in some insights from martial history and philosophy which made it balloon again!  The whole point was to cut down the episode to reduce production… not to double the ideas and effort!

Unfortunately, looking at my next few weeks, I literally don’t know when I’ll have time to work on any of this to a publishable state.  That said, I’d like to get in an informal SDCC reaction if possible, maybe padding it out with unanswered listener questions still sitting in my notes.  So hopefully see you in about a week!

Some RRSSS for your consideration:

How Much of the Earth Can You See At Once? | Vsauce

Loads of applicable points of interest for DC Films fans. Understanding scale and magnitudes. Seeing Earth from space. Intuiting the height of orbit (and understanding why things keep falling back into Metropolis). Field of view. Understanding Earth’s mass and why terraforming a core is non-trivial (just because you can terraform an atmosphere). Kansas flat as a pancake. Precision in terms. The volume of water on Earth in perspective as applied to Aquaman’s domain.

The Expert | Lauris Beinerts

It’s been this kind of month at work.

Verbatim: What is a Photocopier? | NYTimes

Or maybe more like this.

Row 12 Seat 12 | Story Corps
To mark the fifth anniversary of the Aurora Theatre shooting, Tom and Terry Sullivan, parents of victim Alex Sullivan, sat down at StoryCorps to remember him.
You can listen to the 16 minute story on your podcatcher now.  Use what you love to love others.  Be a joy to others.  Anticipating Man of Steel moved this young man to give a theater the last laughs of their lives.  He bonded over Green Lantern and gave away a Batman hat on his birthday.

It’s a Trap | Justice League Action

So much to say about this, not enough time here and now.

You Don’t Understand Sucker Punch | Slashfilm

“You think Sucker Punch doesn’t have thematic substance. You think it doesn’t have character depth. You think it doesn’t have a single sensible thought in its pretty, dumb superficial body.

You’re wrong.”

At the time of this writing, this video has only 414K views.  Zack Snyder actually refers to this video essay in his interview with Mark Hughes of Forbes (quoted in relevant part):

MH: The media and fans kind of treat it like there’s this harsh competitiveness between Marvel and DC to the point you’re trying to hurt each other’s films. But my feeling is — and I wrote an article for Forbes about it saying — that’s not really true. There’s a competitiveness, but everyone wins when there’s a successful film in the genre, and nobody wants to cause the other’s films to fail. Is that true?

ZS: I think that’s 100% true. Look, I’m a fan of the Marvel movies… and the thing that’s awesome is, we make a different movie. We have a different product than them, although they both exist in sort of the superhero world, which is great. I think that those are the opportunities. That’s what you get at the movies, you get a chance to go to all these different worlds. And I’m as interested in going to the Marvel Universe as anybody. So, I personally don’t think that there’s any, from my point of view, we definitely don’t have any animosity or anything of that nature. We’re all in this big business together, and we hope people are interested in the adventures that we put up on screen. And I do believe it’s infectious, and the next weekend you’re like, “You know what? Let’s go do that again, that was awesome. We saw a cool movie, maybe we’ll get another cool movie.”

[On how his films are often misunderstood and underestimated…]

ZS: We were just talking about — and I don’t know if it’ll happen — but I was talking to DJ [John DesJardin], my visual effects supervisor, about doing this special edition of Sucker Punch, which is sort of like this super-super-uncensored “uninfluenced by the studio” version of the movie. Which exists, you know, I had it cut. It was my very, very first cut of the movie, which is basically more like the script… it’s much more meta, it’s much more of an indictment of fandom and it’s just… harder on the genre, which is how it was designed.

MH: That message was there, and I got it. You’ve said before that you think people misunderstood your films and that they don’t get credit for being as smart as they are. I absolutely agree and that’s the argument I’ve been making for years, including about Sucker Punch, which I think is great.

ZS: Did you see that SlashFilm thing that they did on Sucker Punch? The SlashFilm guy [Adam Quigley] did this little video, it’s about seven minutes long, I think it’s called, “You Don’t Understand Sucker Punch.” And he really breaks it down in a really, really cool way, and I was like, “Wow!” …His thing is like, you can dislike the film, but you can’t dislike it because it’s “dumb.” That was his argument, you know — it’s fine to not like a movie, but you can’t not like a movie for something that it is not. And it is frustrating, I’ll be 100% honest. Sometimes I do get frustrated. I’m categorized as basically this visualist whose movies don’t mean anything–

MH: Which is completely false.

ZS: –I think that that’s part of it… aesthetically those things are so important to me, that I think people just assume that’s just “eye candy” so it doesn’t mean anything. I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy…

The 3 Spheres | Sideways

“Learn how to graph and chart music in a cultural context! Show off to all your friends and be ‘that guy’ at the party!”

An analysis maybe applicable to other forms of expression.  Ties in with the most recent episode of Revisionist History, by Malcolm Gladwell, regarding the division on the reception of melancholy music.  The King of Tears (S2E6) | Revisionist History.  Gladwell expands this division to country music and the related cultural divisions and how sad songs deal in cultural specificity that more inclusive rock songs don’t.  This view seems to overlap with Jonathan Haidt‘s work, specifically, his moral foundations theory expressed in The Righteous Mind.

Professor Marston & The Wonder Women | Official Trailer

“In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, the film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940’s. While Marston’s feminist superhero was criticized by censors for her ‘sexual perversity’, he was keeping a secret that could have destroyed him. Marston’s muses for the Wonder Woman character were his wife Elizabeth Marston and their lover Olive Byrne, two empowered women who defied convention: working with Marston on human behavior research — while building a hidden life with him that rivaled the greatest of superhero disguises.”

It’s premature to judge but from the presentation here, I’ve got mixed feelings. Lepore’s book is certainly going to be more comprehensive and by all indications more factual.

Own The School Year Like A Hero | Walmart

For my own reference. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

MOSAIC Mix Tape | DrAwkward

I put together a playlist of songs featured in the podcast.  Let me know if any need explanation.

Word Study: Ahavah – “Love” | Bible Project

Last episode we talked about the ambiguity of the word love. A video on the Hebrew usage.

The Art of War | Sun Tzu

So we’ve been talking a lot about Western history and philosophy with Wells, Tolkien, Lewis, the Greeks, etc. and taking Professor Nisbett’s point from last episode about the Greek tradition of no-contradiction, I wanted to approach the fights in BvS with Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi, and Bruce Lee.  It was pretty easy to layer on some of their ideas without having to re-record anything… except with Superman.

Batman embodies a lot of “war as deception and planning” and Wonder Woman has concepts of honor and truth in her warrior ethic.  Superman is not, in the same sense as them, a fighter.  He didn’t train to fight even on a farm.  My brain isn’t connecting the dots.  In any case, if you can think of someone else with an interesting philosophy that might belong in the conversation let me know.  Similarly, if you can think of an interesting lens, criteria, or metrics for evaluating a fight let me know.  The current one, already recorded, basically uses almost boxing-like scoring and empathetic reasonable persons tests… as we’ve already used so many times before.  Nothing wrong with it, but maybe I’m looking for something to spark some other ideas.

Okay, I’m rambling.

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  1. Congratulations Doc! I am planning to get married and have a child myself in late 2018. Must have been a magical moment that you shared with your wife. I think I will appreciate the opening scene in Man of Steel even more when I experience it my self.

  2. Congrats on your newborn Doc!

  3. Doc any time we get content we appreciate it. Congrats on baby Lois 🙂

    Looking forward to the episode on Clark’s choices. I always felt that the priest was who Martha consoled in after Jonathan’s death and after Kal left home, hence when Kal admits he is the alien he realises it to be true. Martha wouldn’t have given up his secret directly but littered enough information over time to make Clark’s admission believable. She is a widow and I think some people forget that in the way she expresses herself to Clark. Rambling now…

    • Thanks! Yeah, my views on Leone keep changing. Originally, because I considered it a For Tomorrow reference, I assumed Leone was just a random clergyman. But as I got to know Clark better, that didn’t seem right. In BvS, it shows they maintained the relationship even if it wasn’t new, so that made me think it was a pre-existing relationship on some level (because of his age, I didn’t think he was Clark’s minister while he was in Smallville… at best, his youth minister) and I believed it was similar to what you say, someone Martha would recommend. I put the question to twitter and got a variety of responses. So haven’t quite pinned this one down yet, but I agree with the underlying psychology of what you’re saying. Martha would have continued practicing her faith and could have come to appreciate Leone (but, again, because of his age I think he came along later, after Clark had left).

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